The Brookline Department of Public Works wishes to share information on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) new waste ban regulations, which take effect next month.
MassDEP’s 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan established an objective to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent over the next decade. In an effort to reach this goal, MassDEP has established new rules requiring that mattresses and textiles be kept out of the trash so they can be recycled or donated for reuse, effective Tuesday, November 01, 2022.
According to MassDEP, approximately 300,000 mattresses and box springs are disposed of each year in the state. About 85% of this mattress material can be recycled. Approximately 23,000 tons of textiles are disposed of each year. About 95% of this material can be reused or repurposed.
Additionally, the state has also updated existing legislation requiring that businesses and institutions that dispose of a half-ton or more of organic material per week divert their organic waste from the trash. The previously established threshold was one ton.
Community members are reminded that mattresses and textiles cannot be recycled through household recycling bins. They must be scheduled for pickup or given to organizations that specialize in reselling them second-hand or repurposing them for other uses.
Ways to Recycle Mattresses and Box Springs
Clean mattresses and box springs must be recycled or donated for reuse.
- Residents on town trash collection service who wish to recycle a mattress should call the DPW at 617-730-2156 to request a mattress pickup.
- Residents or businesses on private service can search for recycling service providers for mattresses here or here.
- Residents may search MassDEP’s Beyond the Bin recycling directory for organizations near them that accept mattresses for donation and reuse.
- More information can be found here.
Ways to Recycle Textiles
All clean clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, or similar products must be recycled or donated for reuse.
- The Town of Brookline recently entered into a partnership with Helpsy for textile recycling. Residents can schedule a free home pickup service for their textiles by visiting here or calling 1-800-244-6350.
- Two Helpsy textile drop-off boxes, accessible 24 hours a day, are located at 815 Newton Street in Brookline.
- A list of local charitable organizations that accept textile donations is also available here.
- More information can be found here.
Recycling Organics / Food Waste
The term “organics” includes all food and vegetative materials (e.g., cut flowers). Liquids, yard waste, biodegradable products (e.g., compostable plates and cups) and compostable paper (e.g., napkins and paper towels) are not included in the ban.
MassDEP offers several resources through RecyclingWorks, a recycling assistance program, to help businesses and institutions better understand how likely it is that their operation will be subject to the commercial organics ban. A Food Waste Estimation Guide developed by RecyclingWorks is available here.
Businesses and institutions can comply with this ban by donating servable food to shelters and food pantries, reducing food waste generation through more efficient food service operations, and/or working with a hauler to send food waste to a composting facility, anaerobic digester or for animal feed.
While the town does not recommend any specific compost haulers for commercial organics, the following companies are currently permitted to operate in Brookline:
- Black Earth Compost: 978-290-4610 ext. 2;
- Bootstrap Compost: 617-642-1979;
- CERO: 617-379-1234;
- City Compost: 978-378-3048;
- Save that Stuff: 617-241-9998.
RecyclingWorks also offers free technical assistance and guidance to businesses and institutions. To request this service, contact RecyclingWorks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-254-5525. Additional information can be found here.
Additional information on the upcoming waste bans can be found here.